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76% of Thai SMEs Export to 10 or More International Markets

eBay, a global e-commerce leader, has released its Southeast Asia Small Online Business Trade Report July 2022 highlighting the success of SMEs in Southeast Asia that have turned challenges into opportunities by digitalizing their businesses and expanding their global reach. Although small in size, they are increasingly becoming MMNEs (Micro Multi-National Enterprises) empowered through eBay.

Vidmay Naini, Regional General Manager for Southeast Asia and India, eBay International CBT (Cross Border Trade), said, “With the help of digital platforms, this region is exceptionally well-positioned to capitalize on the export economy given its logistical advantages, diverse talent pool, the strengths of its economic sectors, and wealth of unique inventory.”


The cross-border trade analysis in eBay’s Southeast Asia Small Online Business Trade Report July 2022 is based on data covering transactions on the eBay marketplace in 2020. It follows the activities of small online businesses on eBay by sellers in six regional markets – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam – with annual sales of US$10,000 or more on the eBay marketplace. These sellers are called “eBay-enabled small businesses” in the report.

Thai SMEs are growing strong as Micro Multi-National Enterprises

A key finding in the report is that all eBay-enabled small businesses in Thailand are 100% exporters, indicating the platform has been a useful channel for them to connect with global shoppers. According to San-amorn Wichainit (Ruj), an eBay seller, “Because of eBay, my family business became much bigger and created many jobs in my hometown. I have to thank the eBay team for their great support throughout the years.”

Mr. San-amorn started selling jewelry in 2002 to expand his family business in Chanthaburi. After starting an eBay Store, he was able to quickly expand and currently ships more than 3,000 items per month. He’s now selling his unique products via his eBay store to customers mostly in Europe and North America. Other Thai jewelry businesses have also enjoyed similar success.

The top five product categories exported by Thai eBay-enabled small businesses are: 1) Jewelry & watches, 2) Auto parts, 3) Health & beauty, 4) Collectibles, and 5) Home & garden.

Emerging businesses find their way

Not all eBay-enabled small businesses are traditional or long-standing ones. eBay is also fueling new businesses. In the report, a “Newcomer” refers to a seller that broke the US$10,000 mark during 2020, thus gaining eBay-enabled small business status in four years or less. Among all Thai eBay-enabled small businesses in 2020, 56 percent were newcomers.

The collectibles category is one of the top five most promising sectors for Thai businesses. eBay helps bridge passion and business. “eBay is the only platform for me to connect with buyers from around the world who share the same passion for football trading cards,” said Itti Nana (Soup), the owner of the Souppy Store. Born into a football family and becoming an enthusiastic football memorabilia collector, he started his eBay business in 2017 to sell cards to other football fans. Over the past three years, Soup has received orders from customers globally including Mainland China, Hong Kong, the United States, and Canada.

Unlock your global potential with eBay

Collectively, the eBay-enabled small business communities in the region made sales in 214 international markets in 2020. Some 64 percent of eBay-enabled small businesses became “eBay Global Sellers” as they exported to four or more continents. Meanwhile, eBay-enabled small businesses from Thailand have achieved beyond average, with 75% of them exporting to four or more continents, and 76% exporting to 10+ markets.

“In Southeast Asia, e-commerce is increasingly becoming a key business strategy, particularly important for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. It reduces barriers to entry and increases reach and scale at lower cost, empowering small businesses to grow faster and allowing new entrepreneurs to easily start their own businesses,” said Vidmay.

“eBay’s primary focus in Southeast Asia is to enable SMEs to sell to the world, with a marketplace that offers 142 million active buyers across 3,000-plus product categories with market access to 190 countries. SMEs in the region need to differentiate and drive scale by exploring e-commerce export options. With this goal in mind, eBay is building a robust ecosystem using its deep technology expertise and partnerships with key government stakeholders as well as logistics service providers to enable SMEs to do just that,” he added.

The eBay Southeast Asia Small Online Business Trade Report also found that segments of the population that were traditionally underrepresented in small business creation in the formal economy, such as women, have benefited from the greater anonymity of e-commerce business models. It’s important for small businesses or people with passion to learn how to start their global presence today with eBay and unlock the power for growth.

The eBay NextGen Campaign offers a range of benefits to new SME sellers, including:

  • Dedicated account managers to provide advice and support.
  • Training sessions and tutorials to help sellers develop their online business acumen.
  • Category insights to identify opportunities in the marketplace.
  • Access to an ecosystem with localized, market-specific shipping/web/listing tools.
  • Subsidies worth up to US$1,500 per seller, which may be used to defer store subscription fees, promoted listing fees, shipping fees, and so on.

The eBay NextGen Campaign is open to Thai SMEs of all sizes in all industry sectors, whether they are a manufacturer, dealer, or retailer, and whether their existing sales channels are online or offline. Thai SMEs can join the campaign or get more details at: https://ebaythailand.co.th/ebaynextge

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